In years past, outside was the place to be during holidays

LAST week Rob Kidd and I had a chat about kids and school holidays.

We talked about what we did for entertainment when we were at school, and it wasn't like anything most kids of today do, or even think about.

Way, way back in my day there were no organised school holiday programs. Nor was there any TV or computer games - in fact a computer was something that hadn't been heard of.

And I can recall it was when I was a young teenager that I saw my first ever television set.

Our days were spent outdoors. I lived at the end of our street, and beyond our place was farmland, with a track that led to a major river.

Behind our house was also farmland and a paddock that was largely unused by the farmer. It was overgrown with gorse.

We'd made tunnels through the gorse - who cared about prickles!

The youngsters in our neighbourhood would get together bright and early and we'd just move from one thing to another - we'd take a walk down the track and throw stones into the river.

Alongside the track were some old and absolutely huge macrocarpa trees, and these were our favourites for climbing.

We'd take our lives in our hands and, of course, at that age we were bullet-proof, but the interesting thing was we never once got hurt.

We made our own fun, we created our own games and we also got up to heaps of mischief from time to time, but nothing that was going to hurt anybody or anybody's property.

I recall one such time when we decided we'd like to light a bit of a fire in one of the holes of a monster macrocarpa tree.

The hole was deep and our fire seemed to grow like topsy as we stuffed more and more fuel into the gap.

Then it got bigger than we would cope with and we all rushed back to my home to get buckets of water - a good 400m dash.

There was no water close by, and it wasn't long before our parents became involved, and it was all parents carting full buckets down the hill and empty ones back until they had it under control.

We weren't flavour of the month, but we did little in the way of damage to anyone except to our back-sides and our pride when we got back home.